you to come here because we will tell you the truth always. thanks for watching us tonight. i'm bill o'reilly. please always remember the spin stops here because we are definitely looking out for you. this is a fox news alert a fertilizer plant has become engulfed in flames in west, texas at west fertilizer, the name of the plant outside of waco. one witness reportedly describing a giant fireball shooting into the sky when this happened. another claiming to have heard the blast from as far as 45 miles from the scene. local officials telling fox news they're dealing with major injuries. we've heard reports that up to 60 people have been to one
hospital alone. structures and vehicles are also destroyed. we're told all available first responders are at the scene or heading to the scene as well as six helicopters. we're hearing from local media and n.waco reporting there may be people, excuse me, trapped nearby nursing homes or apartment buildings and that includes children but please keep in mind fox news has not independently confirm that had information. evacuations are underway in numerous buildings nearby. we're hearing reports of power outages in the communities and know a number of triage centers have been set up close by to treat those affected by the potentially toxic smoke. we've heard from governor rick perry on this incident. he release aid statement saying we're monitoring developments and gathering information as well as details they continue to emerge about this incident.
we've mobilized state resources to help local authorities and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of west. we're monitoring this major explosion that has occurred at a fertilizer plant in the city of west in hillsborough. so is that in north central texas not far from waco. reports are we're hearing a number of injuries and wide spread building damage. not just in that facility but looks -- blocks away. up to four block as way. there are crews from fire and rescue departments that have been called to the scene if not already there, har they're headed to the scene, we're hearing from natalie stolis with kdfw. are you with us this sneng. >> yes. i can hear you. >> i want to you bring us up to speed. tell whaus is going on.
it's unfathomable what we're looking at. >> it's chaos here on the ground. my position is behind a baseball field. people weren't injured but in front that have is a community center, they're taking people there who need to be treated they're taking some of the injured to vfw. first responders i can tell you that there are first responders and law enforcement here from all over the place. i have heard police officers and firefighters from all different small towns in z.cities some have never heard of in this area but they're here and are pitching in for help. it's chaos, one challenge is just trying to coordinate and organize everybody who is here to help. there is a lot that needs to
be done. >> and take us back to 8:00 tonight. tell us what happened. do we know details about why this happened?. >> right. well, my understanding is that there was a fire that was at this fertilizer company. first responders went to respond to that fire and a little bit later on it rekindled and the blast happened. and what changed from when that fire initially happened to the blast i'm not sure. it's been all about trying to respond put out fires so as far as the cause i'm is that your will come out later. >> i know with any breaking news situation the details are slow and forth coming but we're getting reports of
injuries possibly death tolls do you have information you can confirm with us about that? >> i have heard, 60 to 70, possibly 60 to 70 dead and that sounds like a high number. it isn't inconceiveable that that might be the case as well as scores of others injured. right now focus is trying to get people help they need. and part of the chaos is these families trying to find their loved ones. and so, it's a lot going on. and yes. the numbers are, it's devastating for a small community. >> we'll keep in mind that that is the number we're working to confirm but at this moment we cannot confirm that as the exact number.
it's a small community we're hearing really i heard authorities say it looked like a war zone. is there damage to surrounding buildings? we're hearing roofs have collapsed. can you tell us what you're seeing on the ground? >> we're 20 miles north of waco well. came down interstate. and it was already dark. what we're seeing snou a lot of flashing lights and by the time we got here law enforcement, they were stopping everybody, every intersection trying to direct everybody, trying to move everybody away from areas where the houses were on fire. but hearing the same thing is that homes had caught fire, a nursing home had caught fire and was damaged. a school caught fire, so places around, i've heard this
being described as a war zone. people saying they saw that and said how bad it was. we have not been able to get to those parts because but we did get, we were able to get to the area where they're bringing a lot of the people. >> you're talking about the triage center. aside from the triage center people getting treated for injuries that aren't deadly are there hospitals nearby? do you an indication of how many people have been taken to the hospital snr they still being taken to the hospital right now? it's -- it's past midnight this, happened at 8:00 p.m. >> yes. i -- the number is really hard to say. and there are so many first responders here. i've seen ambulances coming and going.
hard to tell where they're taking these people. it's been flund on the ground. as mentioned before they're tweeting people in one location and had to move that location and then, they moved it again. so where they're taking people is unclear. i know people have been taken to area hospitals like to waco ask other local medical facilities to be treated and then, you know there are ones here that are still getting treatment for example at the community senter and doing best they can with the resources they have on this scene. >> do you know anyone has been life flighted? were there helicopters used? what kind of first responders were on scene? >> people have been life
flighted out. you can see the lights and i'm sure that was first responders, of news helicopters and very to imagine given the level people had to be choppered out. >> natalie we're appreciate your reporting natalie solis joining us from kdfw. go continue to gather more information for us and stay in touch, let us know if you hear updates thank you. >> absolutely. thanks. >> joining us now casey segal from our dallas bureau. are you on the way to waco? on scene? can you give us any updates? >> i can't hear casey. okay, we cannot hear casey at the moment. i did not realize he was not
with us. for viewers we're making aware of the situation a major explosion occurred in the city of west not far from waco nits hillsborough and north central texas. we're getting reports of major injuries wide spread building damage we know from our affiliates sky 4 showing a apartment complex blown part about the blast z we're seeing damage as far as four blocks away. we know there are crews from multiple departments have been called to the scene or already at the scene. and that we're hearing from one reporter there that between 30-60 people have been taken to local hospitals and we do know there has been a triage center set up close to the scene. there have been people brought to that location because they don't necessarily have a life threatening injuries. you do join us, i hope you can
hear me. i understand that you're headed to the scene now. is that correct? >> yes. we're headed to the scene. it's tricky to get to because it's only about 80 miles or so south of dallas but the main road to get there is interstate 35 from live pictures we've been showing you can see the red taillights lit up along interstate 35 because the town of west texas sits off i-35 for people familiar with it, it's a major interstate running north and south to the state of texas z there are portion that's were closed down this evening. because of the emergency personnel and flooding of the resources into the area, it's tricky to get to at this point. i wanted to follow up while waiting to go on with you last time i heard you talking to my colleague natalie solis with local fox station here talking about helicopters and
emergency personnel. i read reports this evening and heard stuff on the scanners monitoring this that up to nine different helicopters have landed on the scene. to remove some of the most-critical patients out therefore, and get them to the hospital. so that is something that certainly has been going on throughout the evening. you can imagine with a mass casualty incident it's referred to on the scanner it's all hands on deck rorkts there are many injuries there were not enough ambulances to go around. to transport casualties so we've heard reports of texas troopers and local law enforcement actually taking some of the victims in their squad cars to nearby hospitals so it's truly a catastrophic incident and again, we talked about this being a very small community. you know, not far from waco, texas but waco is the largest
nearby city. so a lot of the folks being taken, we understand to hospitals there because they'd have more trauma teams on stand by and things of that nature. >> right. when i look at the pictures it just looks like a huge blast it and was burning. do you have an indication was it burning for minutes? hours? i know it's still very early and its not what -- we don't have time to talk about whether or not there is an investigation going on but indication on how this could have happened? i know it's early and you're on the way there but it just seems like a huge fire that continues, perhaps to smould zbler. >> yes z it is still burning already reports of 10 different buildings that have caught fire because i don't know if you have the a am -- amateur video. there is a man just taping the fire, and it had caught the
explosion. it's just incredible. reports of a fireball up to 100 feet in the sky. when this happened. what we understand is that there was a fire of some sort burning at the fertilizer plant. firefighters were on the scene trying to get that out. and that is when the explosion happened and that could, in fact be one of the reasons why we have seen such a high number of casualty skpdz perhaps, fatalities because firefighters were there, you know, they were close to this when it went off. >> right. right. i appreciate you joining us, i'm up against a hard break for viewers stay tuned to the fox news channel we'll continue to watch this developing situation out of west texas. more later. when our little girl was born,
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>> this is a fox news alert. the fbi has cancelled the highly anticipated press briefing that they were expected to hold earlier this evening. after waiting all day for word from law enforcement about the latest developments on the possible suspects, we must and why would they cancel the briefings. we write in a people of law enforcement experts, rod wheeler, james redick. it seems law enforcement is now distributing pictures of two people. i believe i have seen these pictures. it seems to me that they are getting closer, and they probably don't need to tell the press.
probably a wise decision? >> i think so. i think it's a very good strategy. initially law enforcement was probably thinking if they released these photographs, maybe somebody would recognize these two individuals. however, mark furman hit on an interesting point. he talked about video imaging and identification technology. that technology is used by the boston police department and every major police department. what we can basically do, we can take an image of an individual, which i think is what they are doing here, and we can run them through a database. if they have ever been arrested anywhere in the united states, we can pretty much determine who they are. so i think th's what they are doing at this time, sean. >> what do you think, james? >> yeah. and there's your passports, driver's license, a number of resources that they can go. data banks are very extensive at this point in time. with respect to the press conference, you know, i think over the last couple of days they are a little dismayed about the amount of information that
has been released and some of it by mistake. i think they are reacting and recalling back a little bit. >> it's a very bizarre period this afternoon where you had media all over the place. we have suspects, he's on his way to the courthouse, he's not on his way to the courthouse, he is on his way to the courthouse, persons of interest, and then it all got pulled back. which maybe it's telling us they are getting close, maybe somebody opened their mouth and maybe said something to the press that they shouldn't have said? >> exactly. >> the problem is, sean, guys like yourself, news media, you are very good at probing questions. after a while they feel very uncomfortable age saying anything. so they naturally pull back. >> that's fair. you know, i want them to find these people, whatever they are. i want these people arrested so we know that cities are safe. rod, you wanted to weigh in. go ahead. >> you are exactly right, sean a the problem here, a lot of times citizens don't understand that in investigations like this it
takes a while. it's not going to happen in 48 hours like we see on television. i think the police department, the fbi, i think they are doing the right and prudent thing by taking their time. they are probably identifying who they are and may be surveilling them. we don't know that. but at the same time i think we need to be a little cautious, slow up a little bit and continue to do our investigation. >> thank you, guys. appreciate your insight, as always. now when we come back, big story number two tonight. we will have an update from washington d.c. a city on high alert that was on high alert earlier today after a number of other letters now containing ricin were, in fact, discovered and one was even addressed to president obama. an arrest has been made tonight. we have all the late-breaking developments all coming up here developments all coming up here tonight on "hannity."
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they were postmarked in tennessee. the suspect is identified as paul kenneth curtis. for more we go live to washington d.c. for the very latest with mike. >> sean, good evening. fbi announced an arrest in this case this evening. today at approximately 5:00 p.m. special time special agents arrested paul kevin curtis, the individual believed to be responsible for the mailings of the three letters sent through the u.s. postal inspection service which contained a granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin. the letters were addressed to president obama, senator rodger wicker and a judge in that state. they are likely sent from a writer who is a frequent writer to federal officials. two letters were quite similar. both letters determined to be similar based on targets, post marks and et cetera. both are postmarked out of
memphis, tennessee on april 8, 2013. both letters signed, quote, i am k. c. and i approve this message." at the white house here is jay carney's take. >> there was a letter. the off-site facility feeted a suspicious substance and a test was undertaken. the fbi has the lead this that investigation. >> with lawmakers and law enforcement on edge, multiple senate offices had reports of suspicious mail today, including this phoenix, senator jeff flake from arizona. >> there was no harmful substance on the letter, but the letter with ricin was sent from tennessee to senator wicker. this letter came from tennessee with no return address and with an oily substance on it. so it was troubling, and my staff alerted authorities, as they should have, and it was
tested. >> just minutes ago, senator wicker issued a paper statement thanking the fbi and capitol police for their professionalism and decisive action in keeping his family and his staff safe. he thanks the people of mississippi for their prayers and thoughts at this time. sean. >> thanks for being with us. joining me more with mr. on this and reaction from the dealing story we have new york congressman peter king along with the chairman of the house homeland security committee, congressman mccall. congressman, it's hard four me to wrap my arms and part mental eyes this, although many seem to be, and that is we have the boston terror attack on monday, we have the ricin first attack on tuesday and another one sent to the president, maybe others on wednesday. i find, it's hard for me to separate them. >> well, it's similar, in my judgment, to the anthrax attacks after 9/11 which turned out to
have no correlation whatsoever. the evidence in the briefings i have had show that there really is no connection between these two. however, this is a very serious matter, sending ricin to members of congress. and 9/11 we established an outside mail facility where this can be confiscated, and it works. it's protected members of congress. but the capitol is on a high state of alert right now. >> congressman king, does it sound like an odd coincidence to you? >> yeah. but i agree with mike mccall. all the law enforcement people i have spoken to, these are two unrelated events. it does remind me back to 2001 where we had the 9/11 attacks and shortly after that we had the anthrax arriving on capitol hill. again, i think these off-campus facilities, if you will, that stop the mail and protect not just congressmen and senators, but staff members.
dom daschle staff, some of his staff are still sick from the anthrax they inhaled. i do think it's a coincidence. >> back to the terror attack in boston, you were one of the early voices to the that were warning people in fact the crazy back and forth in the media, we have a suspect, he's on his way to the courthouse, all of that that was going on, you were saying, no, hold on a second. how do you interpret what is going on right now and that is the cancelled, for example, briefings by the fbi and now law enforcement, they have been distributing the pictures of these two individuals. your thoughts? >> you know, we don't really know why they canceled it. of course, cnn got out a little ahead of themselves with some -- you know, whenituck to the fbi they told me we do not have a suspect in custody. >> then how does that happen, then? >> well, i think a couple things going on, sean. i do think that with the surveillance cameras at lord and taylor, with the photos they
have obtained from individuals on the street, i do think they have photographs of the suspects. that's just my guess. and i think at some point that's going to be released to the public. there's another theory that they do have somebody in custody that's now cooperating, and that's why they delayed this press conference. but quite honestly, we don't know the answer to that. it would be kind of irresponsible for me to go further than that. >> congressman king, let me go to you. they are distributing pictures of two men to law enforcement that has not been released to the media as we confirmed at the top of the show with our own rick hemmer. rick has seen the photos both are describing what i have seen myself and has been described to me by my contacts. what are we to make of that? does that give us hope that perhaps we are getting closer to finding the people responsible for this terrorism? >> sean, i have great faith in
the fbi and boston police. fbi is really on this. i have no doubt that it is going to be much sooner rather than later that they are going to resolve this case. and also, i don't blame them. i don't know exactly why they pulled back on the news conference. but i remember back in 2010 with the times square bomber and there was a lack of security, people in the administration started leaking out information as to who the target was. and that's when he found out, and he found out he was being targeted and he took off for the airport. and until he heard it on the media from what the administration was leaking out, he didn't know he was a target. so i don't want to tip these guys off if we do know who they are, and again, maybe they are being followed to see if there are others involved. i give the fbi the benefit of the doubt here. >> and you didn't say merchants selling ball bearings and beauty products should notify the police. that doesn't sound like you. did you say that? >> no, there was a list of products.
>> ball bearings, bb guns, pressure cookers? >> sean, no. sean. >> i didn't think you said it. i didn't think so. >> let me tell you what i did say. these products are bought in large amounts by certain people. ray wants that reported. and some beauty products is what was going to be used to blow up the subways in 2009. they are products that can be used in bombs. if they are bought in certain amounts by certain people, police want that reported. you have all these merchants working with the police departments. >> thank you for being with us. appreciate your insight tonight. coming up next, we will head back to boston. our very own rick hemmer is standing by tonight. he's seen the photos of the two suspects being sought by authorities. i will ask him about that when we return. and plus the former officer of the nypds bomb squad, he will join us in the studio. we will talk about the devices used in the attack, what exactly is a pressure cooker bomb.
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orks this is a fox news alert a violent explosion rocking a fertilizer plant in the town of west in texas. it happened just before 8:00 p.m. central time at west fertilizer, the name of the plachblt one witness described a giant fireball shooting into the sky. another claiming to have heard the blast from as far as 45 miles away. local officials telling fox news they're dealing with injuries dozens of them and one hospital official in
nearby waco says 56 people were taken for treatment there alone. and 38 of them were seriously injured. we're told all available first responders are at the scene or still heading there as well as six helicopters. local media reporting there may be people trapped in a nearby nursing home and apartment building including children but fox news has not confirmed that yet. evacuations underway at numerous buildings nearby and power out in the community. a triage center has been set up close fwoi treat those affected by phone shallly toxic smoke from the fire. a major explosion rocking a texas fertilizer plant we're told numerous injuries but not an exact number just yet. we're joined with todd from fox news radio what. are you hearing? >> good morning it's a very bad situation in west, texas this, is a small community about 3,000 people.
located just north of waco between waco and dallas. i had a chance to speak with the dispatcher from local sheriff's department. she tells me that there were two explosions at the plant. firefighters had been out there. the fire came back later in the evening and the first explosion occurred. now, the dispatcher tells mehink radius of the fertilizer plant was blown away. flat we're talking about homes, the high school suffered major damage. you mentioned an apartment come skplechl a nursing home. we understand those buildings were damaged but don't know how significantly. there are two major hospitals in the waco area. you mentioned the injuries that some received.
i had a chance to speak with the ceo of the other hospital, providence hospital. he tells me they've received 24 patients expecting a van load and he says there were 40 more patients on top of that. there is -- experiencing injuries like cuts, abrasions there have been head traum yaz. we understand that some burn victims have been air lifted to the hospital in dallas. to give you an idea they had to set up a triage in the parking lot of the hospital this, is a major hospital. we're talking 300 beds, 51 emergency rooms and they had to triage people in the parking lot that. is the kind of damage we're talking about here. >> now, you said i a smaller community around 3,000 people. we're hearing well over 100 people could have been injured but tell me about the area. you said almost looked, i know
what authorities said looked like a war zone. are we hearing about what happened for that nursing home? were the folks possibly evacuated beforehand? or injuries to people in those areas? >> no. not at all. and the people in the area knew there had been a fire. and we understand that when the explosion occurred, there was damage two miles away. from the actual blast location. and i have a number of people on our facebook fan page living 15-20, 30 miles out. they're telling me they can feel the blast their windows rattled like an earthquake. so it was a powerful explosion. big concern is first responders were battling the fire when the explosion occurred and we just don't know the status of the
firefighters. >> new, i know this is early. it's maybe a question that none of us can answer. but any indication of how this could have happened? this fire is still burning. these aren't live pictures but was burning hours afterward. talking about heavy chemicals. do we have an indication of how this happened? aside from the fire? any reaction could have occurred?. >> fertilizer is a combustible thing and very dangerous wex don't know how this started other than information dispatcher gave us. there had been a small fire earlier in the day. i have been monitoring the dispatch transmissions. it was chilling to listen to these are firefighters and imploring people to bring as much help as possible. at one point they'd run out of
water they were trying to get to local swimming pool to pump water out of the pool so they can fight the fires. but reason why fires are spreading you saw a few moments ago we had an aerial shot of the high school they said up triage. there was fear that there was going to be another explosion that the fire was spreading so they evacuated the town. so what -- we saw people leaving the football field it wasn't because danger was gone. the reason why the fire is spreading, there are a lot of -- it's windy. right now firefighters goring from house to house. there is not much anyone can do right now. >> i know there are a lot of folks at home looking at tvs shaking their head. resources what do first responders and officials need now? are people donating blood? are there first responders
still head together scene? >> listening to the standard traffic they had so many people there helping that they're telling people to hold back so i'm not sure what -- how things are now. i think the issue is trying to find a place for people to stay. people that lost their homes or perhaps had to be evacuated from that nursing home and we do know a good number of people were he vac ited outside of the nursing home. the other issue is reuniting people with their loved ones so we understand people are injured and they just don't know where loved ones are. >> well, todd starns from fox news radio, thank you so much for joining you us. you brought us updated information. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> for our viewers at home we're keeping an eye on and monitoring the situation in west texas hundreds of people have been injured. stunning w.
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in waco, texas. i understand you heard the explosion? tell us about it. >> yes. i was in west waco working this evening and inside of the building working. and i just thought it was thunder. we had a storm front moving in. i thought it was thunder. and that is what everybody was talking about. and sending prayers to texas and all that have. >> how much were you when this happened? this happened around 8:00 this evening or last night. tell me where you were from the plant. >> i was actually at that time probably between 30 miles away when we heard the explosion. and right now, and the suspect right there on 35 and they should have been a constant stream of ambulances and units it's nonstop. >> tell me 30 miles away the
blast is unbelievable. you did have to go closer to the scene to get home. can you tell us about what you saw? can you see people being taken to the scene? did you see helicopters treating people? >> yes. i did on and this is from what i understand is where they're taking a majority of the casualties. there was a life flight helicopter taking off from there. i as passed a dozen ambulances on interstate 35 heading towards the hospital. it is just, you know, i saw numerous vehicles going northbound towards the scene. so there is a lot of coming and going from the scene. >> i'm going to interrupt you, joe we have a witness on the scene we're going to go back to that. let's listen in.
>> i was just running. and the ground was shaking and we're just trying to get out of there. >> he's, he was on the way behind him. and he was screaming but you know, he had gotten the force of the impact lifting him up. when landed he landed on his side. and we had it checked out. he has fractured ribs and stuff. he is terrified and scared and just can't believe what he had seen. he's only 11. i mean, everything that we just experienced. >> tell me about your house. >> i live right there. right close to the rest home. our neighbors say our house is gone. they're not allowing us to go back to see if we have
anything or fsh -- everyone else's house is gone, i'm pretty sure ours is, too. i was over there at the fair grounds and we just moved here and we're just getting settled. we haven't been here that long. and so... if we lost everything, then we don't know what we're going to do. i do have my mom that will let us live with her. you noi? until we justifying out what we're going to do because we don't know. i mean right now everything is just up in the air. >> how frustrating is it not to be able to see what really happened?. >> so frustrating and it's like... my heart is -- . >> we'll be back with more right after the break. stay with us. ♪
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>> sandra gray is nearby the blast in texas. did you hear the blast? >> i was at work. no, we didn't hear the blast. i understand, you do live in the area. you have folks and family who live nearby. do you know anyone in the plant do you know anyone in the plant >> no, i don't. they are not letting anybody in or out. >> reporter: i understand it's a chaotic situation, do you have folks, like you mentioned, that you can't get ahold of that could be possibly injured in this? >> caller: my son's girlfriend. her whole family lives in west
and a family friend, a 23-year-old young woman with a baby and i can't get ahold of her. >> reporter: what are local officials telling you? i would imagine a lot of folks are trying to get in touch with their loved ones right now? >> caller: there are. you can't get ahold of anybody. there is so much going on. i mean, where i work is right on the highway and all you are seeing is ambulance going one way and then back the other way. i mean, there is constant helicopters up and hospitals are helicopters up and hospitals are can't get into the town of west. >> reporter: i understand the damage spans over four blocks, it sons like, at a minimum. there are a number of people who probably can't get home tonight. where are those folks going? >> caller: i don't -- i don't know. we have a couple of people who are waiting to find out if they are going to be able to get in there tonight or not. they don't know. there is really -- nobody's